TRENTON – In a state scuffed up by the Ray Rice elevator scandal, the Assembly this afternoon passed a battery of anti-domestic violence bills, including A2154, which permits a witness under the age of 16 or a victim of any age to testify by closed circuit television in prosecutions for crimes or offenses involving domestic violence.
The bill sailed across the floor by a vote of 80-0-0.
“What occurred last week in the media is made relevant because it happened to be a famous sports star,” said co-prime sponsor Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-4). “The reality is it happens every day. I’m very passionate about this issue. This issue is real to me because I lived through it. My family was very lucky. My mother survived. Most victims, they don’t.”
The bill was the first of a series of bills.
By a 80-0-0 vote, the Assembly passed A1310 (which requires counseling for certain domestic violence offenders); 1579 (by a 79-0-0 vote, creating self-defense justification for victims of domestic violence ); 1953 (by a 79-0-0 vote, which requires law enforcement officers to search domestic violence restraining order registry upon conducting an arrest). 2163 (passed by 80-0-0, establishes the New Jersey Task Force on Domestic Violence and Abuse); and 2640 (passed 80-0-0, authorizes issuance of restraining orders for situtations in which domestic violence statutes do not apply).
Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-11) praised the domestic violence bills but also said the state has more work to do.
“Was the Ray Rice case rare,” Casagrande asked. “I suggest humbly as a legislature, we have a long way to go to.”